I'm A Denim Person Trying to Break Out of A Rut!

by Sunny D.
(Cape Coral, Florida)

Short spikey hair can be a good look.

Short spikey hair can be a good look.

I've been involved in Animal Rescue for my entire life -at least 40 years. I like to feel comfortable and casual. For me, denim fits the bill. I have worn and still wear denim jeans constantly.

Yes, I do not wear my mother's jeans! However it just happens that I'm petite and mom's jeans always had too much length between my hips and waist - leading to a disgusting rumpled, fat look!

Luckily I lived in the Northeast, and I wore sweaters constantly which covered the excess fabric! I'm slender but apple shaped, sort of like a thin shoe box, so I like slightly shaped knit shirts that are short enough to fit over the top of my jeans but not so long that my legs look like my Pugs!

I have had denim blouses and jackets and I enjoy them also. Now I live in Florida and denim is not quite as versatile here as it was up north!

In the hottest weather I don't even want to wear denim shorts let alone pants. They just do not breathe enough for me to be comfortable in them outside.

I have tried some of the lighter weight jeans and they do look fine but crinkled cotton just feels so much better when it is hot.

I'm retiring from my day job and have kissed jackets and skirts goodbye. It looks silly for a much older woman wearing a skirt to bend over in public to catch a critter of some sort. Crawling on the ground really does not work while wearing a skirt.

I want to spend a bit more time attempting to look good than I did before. I'd like a new look that flatters me while it still is easy and comfortable to wear.

I need major help; I've gone out sometimes and clients tell me that my hair is standing up, I must respond with the truth - I probably forgot to comb it that morning! Today a client pointed out that my jeans were unzipped, I hope no one else noticed. Perhaps an elastic waist would work well for me.

Hi Sunny --

Welcome to Florida and to Fashion After 50. Believe it or not, I wrote this answer previously, but apparently it got lost in cyberspace. Please accept my apology for the wait.

Your suggestion to wear crinkled cotton is a good one. It is perfect for most South Florida seasons, except the chilliest. It washes easily, comes in a wide variety of colors. I suspect that the little wrinkles are one reason it is cooler. Check out the page about seersucker under Fabrics You Love; that's the reason given for the long popularity of that textile.

If you haven't visited a Beall's outlet, I hope you will do so soon.


I've picked up tees for as little as a few dollars!

When creating your new look, the main principles to keep in mind are fit, function, and color. So often, the way a garment fits can make the difference between stylish and dowdy.

For example, I have a few Capri slacks. The red ones fit snugly, but not tightly, through the hips, can be cinched at the waistline with elastic in back, and end just two-or-three inches under the knees. They are chic, and I get compliments.

My saggy-baggy khakis are for yoga. They are loose in the hips and the waistlines don't seem to cinch as tightly. One set falls about mid-calf, a bad length for me (and, I think, most women) making it extra dowdy.

So pay attention to fit.

You can define your look by coming up with a signature item. A consultant recently visited our school; she has very long, unruly red hair that she wear up in a twisted bun for her professional look. She secures that with a big silk flower, and is noted for that.

On the unique-necklaces page, I have an anecdote who made a fetish necklace her signature. Former Secretary of State of Madeleine Albright made brooches her signature.

Perhaps hats will become your signature. And don't forget you can dress up inexpensive ones with a glue gun and such additions as ribbons, buttons, silk flowers, or other embellishments that you pick up at thrift or fabric stores.

You also may want to visit the page about fashion-color-coordination for a few tips in that direction.

Last, when it comes to stand-up hair, you may have a blessing in disguise. Very short, spikey hairstyles are on-trend. I have to use lots of hair wax and mousse, and even then mine flops over. So if that is a style that is right for your hair texture and face, celebrate.

In sum, Sunny D., you have a lot of options for creating your new look. It's a fun project, so experiment and have a ball with it. And do come back with some photos so we can see the results.

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